Dieter Oesterhelt

Dieter Oesterhelt

Membrane Biochemistry

Research in the department has its primary focus on the biology of Halobacterium salinarum and other halophilic organisms (e.g. Natronomonas pharaonis and Haloquadratum walsbyi). We concentrate on a variety of biological topics and follow an integrated approach combining different working techniques.

One major aspect is the analysis of photoreceptors in light energy conversion (photosynthesis) and signal transduction (phototaxis). This is extended to general aspects of bioenergetics and sensory processes. The function, structure, and dynamics of soluble and membrane proteins and protein complexes is analyzed. For this investigation we use a multitude of biophysical, molecular biological, and physiological methods. This includes the available "-omics"-technologies (e.g. Genomics and Proteomics, Transcriptomics).

Putative spin-offs from our work are not only appreciated by us, but pursued actively in various collaborations.


Dieter Oesterhelt (1940-2022)

Former director Prof. Dr. Dieter Oesterhelt of the MPI of Biochemistry passed away on November 28, 2022 at the age of 82.

Prestigious award for the pioneers of optogenetics

Dieter Oesterhelt, Emeritus Director at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, is being honoured with the Lasker Basic Medical Research Award 2021 together with Peter Hegemann and Karl Deisseroth

Life with light and colour: a biochemical conversation

Mathias Grote, science historian and Heisenberg Fellow at Humboldt University, talks with Dieter Oesterhelt about his research more

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